Graham-Mebane Lake General Information
• The restrooms are open for use. Doors are locked, ask lake staff for a key. Restrooms will be cleaned every 2 hours during these times as a COVID-19 precaution. Use at your own risk.
• The Tackle Loaner Program has been postponed until further notice.
For safety, Graham-Mebane Lake restricts admittance during periods of lightning, heavy rain, and fog until safe boating/fishing is assured. The lake does not put boats on the water or anglers on the bank until 30 minutes after the last lightning strike within 10 miles. Boaters already on the water and anglers already fishing in the bank area must use their own judgement as when to seek safety during lightning conditions.
We are letting the fish feeders in the bank fishing area run out of food for the season. The state recommends doing this in September. We will begin feeding again April 1, 2021.
Largemouth bass, crappie, and catfish are the most sought after species in Graham-Mebane Lake. Other species include bluegill, carp, and shad. An angler is allowed a limit of five (5) bass over 14 inches per day. There are no other size or number limits on fish.
The marina provides an assortment of live bait including crickets, red worms, and night crawlers. Fishing supplies (hooks, bobbers, weights, stringers) are also available. The marina offers refreshments to purchase (drink and snack machines). Take a break in the sitting area to discuss the best fishing spots with the marina staff and be sure to check out the Fish Photo Wall of Fame, all from the current year.
The lake hosts the year-round Big Bass Tournament and several Catfish Tournaments each year. Due to limited parking, we require that Club Tournaments register with us before planning a tournament at the lake.
NC Wildlife Tackle Loaner Program
Graham-Mebane Lake participates in the NC Wildlife Tackle Loaner Program. The program is designed to introduce kids (ages 6 to 12) to fishing by allowing them to sign out fishing rods to use free of charge. Parental guidance is required. Please ask Lake Staff for more information.
Community Fishing Program
The Graham Recreation and Parks Department has joined with the NC Wildlife Resource Commission’s Community Fishing Program to install a handicap-accessible fishing pier and solar-powered fish feeders to make fishing more enjoyable for all anglers. A second pier was installed to reduce crowding and allow bank anglers to fish areas that were previously out of reach.
There are four fish feeders near the shoreline to attract fish closer to the bank fishing area. These feeders, the two fishing piers, and the fish attractors combine to make bank fishing at the lake fun and productive. This makes our Bank Fishing Area ideal for families seeking enjoyable and economical fishing trips.
Club tournaments are welcome at Graham-Mebane Lake; but due to limited parking (maximum 45 boat trailers) we have several rules:
- Tournaments are limited to 20 boats per day. Whether it is one 20-boat, two 10-boat, or three 6-boat tournaments, the total cannot surpass 20 boats.
- Clubs must register their tournament and reserve their date, preferably at least one week beforehand.
- Give us the completed Check-In Form and collected User Fees when you arrive the day of your tournament to speed up launching.
- To protect the fishery from unnecessary loss, we do not allow tournaments in June, July, and August.
- All lake regulations, including size limits, apply.
Good luck and let us know your winning weights before you go – we’re always interested!
- Come by the marina or call us at (919) 563-6544 during normal operating hours. We’ll need the tournament organizer’s name, phone number, and expected number of boats. It’s first come, first served for tournament dates.
- Pick up or download the Club Tournament Check-In Form
Programs & Events
All events are tentative pending COVID-19 and Executive Order Phase Guidelines.
2021 Big Bass Tournament
Dates: March 1 – October 17
Times: During Operational Hours
Ages: 16 & older
Cost: $25.00 per year
Graham-Mebane Lake sponsors a season-long big bass tournament. There is a monthly winner for the heaviest Largemouth Bass caught and weighed. Each monthly winner receives an annual permit for the upcoming year and qualifies for the Fish-Off. The top three finishers in the Fish-Off receive cash prizes. Big Bass Tournament Fish-Off: Saturday, October 23, 2021
|2021 Big Bass Tournament Results|
2020 Big Bass Tournament Fish-Off Results
1st Place – Kurt Krone – 7.01 lbs.
2nd Place – Cale Rogers – 5.98 lbs.
3rd Place – Curtis Rippey – 5.35 lbs.
Graham-Mebane Lake Bass Tournament
Date: Saturday, March 27, 2021 (date & information tentative)
Time: Gate opens at 7:00am, mandatory meeting at 7:15am, launch will follow. All boats returned by 3:00pm for weigh in.
Cost: $100 per boat, 1 or 2 people (maximum of 2 people per boat)
Location: Graham-Mebane Lake • 3218 Bason Road, Mebane, NC 27302
Details: Pre-registration in-person on Saturday, March 14 at marina at 3:00pm. First come, first served. 75% Payout to the top three spots. 100% Big Fish Payout will cost an additional $10 per boat. Prizes will be awarded by check, mailed or picked up at Graham City Hall on the following Tuesday after 2:00pm. Space is limited, 20 boat maximum. For more information and tournament rules (posted online after 03/06), please call (919) 563-6544.
Bank Fishing Catfish Tournaments
Dates: Saturdays – May 15, June 12, July 10, August 7 (dates & information tentative)
Time: 8:00pm – Midnight
Ages: For all ages, children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult and must be able to cast, hook a fish, and reel it in by themselves. Adults may help net a fish.
Cost: $15.00 per entrant
The lake sponsors several bank-fishing catfish tournaments each summer. Payout is for the three heaviest catfish caught and weighed at Graham-Mebane Lake during the tournament by three different entrants. (Entrants may weigh as many fish as they like, but only their heaviest fish will be considered.) All fish must be caught by rod, line, and hook at Graham-Mebane Lake during the tournament. There will be a 50/50 drawing during the tournament. This is an alcohol, tobacco, and vape-free event. Pets must be leashed with leash in hand and remain under positive control. For more information, please call (919) 563-6544.
|2019 Catfish Tournaments Results (no Tournaments in 2020)|
|May 18||4.67, 1.56, 1.36|
|June 15||3.18, 3.01, 2.88|
|July 13||2.39, 1.11, 0.92 lbs.|
Youth Fishing Day
Date: Saturday, May 8, 2021 (date & information tentative)
Time: 9:00am – 11:00am
Ages: 4 – 15
Cost: Free, registration is required
Location: Graham-Mebane Lake • 3218 Bason Road, Mebane, NC 27302
Children ages 4 to 15 are invited to participate in a FREE Youth Fishing Day! The fishing day is non-competitive. Enjoy fishing, raffles, SnoBalls, and games.
Pre-registration online only and the first 100 who register will receive a t-shirt. For participants to receive a t-shirt, they must be the first 100 and must pre-register. You are welcome to register the day-of-event as space allows, however goody bags and t-shirts are on a first come first get basis for those who pre-register. When you register online you may elect to borrow a loaner rod, limited to 50 available fishing rods. Check-in is from 8:30am – 9:00am on the day of the event.
Please note: All children must have adult supervision during this program. The bank fishing area will be closed to all anglers, except those there for the event. In the unforeseen circumstances this program is canceled, there is no rain date. The program will take place the following year. Grab your lawn chairs, fishing poles and tackle, but leave these at home (no smoking/vaping allowed, no pets, no drones).
Register Online – Registration date TBD
For more information, please call (919) 563-6544. Space is limited.
Family Day at the Lake
Date: Saturday, June 5, 2021 (date & information tentative)
Time: 3:00pm – 7:00pm
For All Ages (certain activities may have age & weight requirements)
Cost: Free, registration is required (charge for food trucks)
Join Graham Recreation & Parks for a fun filled family afternoon at Graham-Mebane Lake. Come out and bank fish for free or head out on the water for a paddling adventure with the options of paddle boarding, kayaking, or canoeing. The Park & Play Mobile Recreation Unit will also be available to provide family fun with a variety of yard games. A food truck will be on site for families wanting to grab dinner or a snack and picnic at the lake!
Every participant must wear a PFD/life jacket while participating in water activities. The smallest PFD available at the lake is rated for youth 30lbs-50lbs. If your child wishes to participate in water activities, but weighs less than 30lbs, you must bring an appropriately sized Type I, II, or III, Coast Guard approved PFD.
Persons 9-15 years of age may be allowed to launch or operate a solo kayak/water craft if they are accompanied on the lake by a parent or legal guardian of age 18. Persons age 8 and under must be in a canoe or tandem kayak with a parent or legal guardian over the age of 18. Persons must be of walking age to enter any rental boat.
Please note: All children must have adult supervision during this program. In the unforeseen circumstances this program is canceled, there is no rain date. The program will take place the following year. Grab your lawn chairs, fishing poles and tackle, but leave these at home (no smoking/vaping allowed, no pets, no drones).
Register Online – Registration date TBD
For more information, please call (919) 563-6544. Live bait will be available to purchase. Space is limited.
Alamance Creek Week
For All Ages
Check back with us for the 2021 date and activities for Alamance Creek Week.
Kayak, Canoe, & Jon Boat Rentals
All vessel rentals and the Tackle Loaner Program have been postponed until further notice. Once rentals resume, renters will be required to provide their own Coast Guard approved Personal Floatation Device (PFD).
Come relax on the water and enjoy the views that Graham-Mebane Lake has to offer. The lake offers 14 single kayaks, 3 fishing kayaks, 5 tandem kayaks, and 3 canoes, as well as 2 jon boats available to rent on a first come basis. Renters have the option of “up to 4 hours” or “up to 8 hours” rental periods.
Our top-tier kayak /canoe launch features a sturdy launch ramp and rollers, allows for easy launch and recovery without scraping your boat on cement ramps. Its equipped with launch and grab rails for added safety and to help keep you dry. Bring your own canoe/kayak out or rent one of ours!
Jon Boat rentals are February – November.
Kayak & Canoe rentals are available April – October.
Vessel Rental Program
|Vessel Type||Rental Period||Alamance County Residents||Non-Alamance County Residents|
|Solo/Fishing Kayaks||up to 4 hours||$12||$14|
|up to 8 hours||$18||$21|
|Tandem Kayaks||up to 4 hours||$18||$20|
|up to 8 hours||$24||$27|
|Canoes||up to 4 hours||$15||$17|
|up to 8 hours||$20||$23|
|Jon Boats||up to 4 hours||$8||$10|
|up to 8 hours||$15||$18|
*includes Mebane residents in Orange County
To Rent a Kayak, Canoe, or Jon Boat:
• Renters must be age 16 or older
• Rentals are first come, first served; are non-refundable and non-transferable
• A valid, government-issued photo ID is required to rent
• Complete a rental agreement and liability waiver form at the Lake Office
• Personal flotation devices (PFD’s) and paddles are provided. PFD’s must be worn while on or near the water.
• No rental permits will be issued within 2 hours of closing time
• All rental boats must be returned 1 hour prior to closing time
• Persons must be of walking age to enter any rental vessel
• Renter and operator must be age 16 or older. Exception: Youth ages 14-15 may rent/operate a kayak if:
– A parent/grandparent/legal guardian signs the Waiver Release of Liability; or
– We receive parental/legal guardian permission via telephone conversation
• Youth ages 9-13 may operate a solo kayak with a parent/legal guardian-signed waiver and must be supervised on the water by said parent or legal guardian in an adjacent vessel
• Ages 8 and under must be on a tandem kayak with a parent or legal guardian
• One person allowed on solo kayak at a time
• The solo kayak weight restriction is 350 pounds
• Renter and operator must be age 16 or older
• Maximum capacity is three persons age 16 and older, or two persons age 16 and older and two persons under age 16
• There must be a person age 16 or older in the canoe
• There must be an adult (age 18 or older) in the canoe for every person age 12 and under
• Ages 8 and under must be accompanied in canoe with parent or legal guardian
• The canoe weight restriction is 1,100 pounds
Jon Boat Restrictions
• Renter and operator must be age 16 or older
• Maximum capacity is three persons, the maximum weight capacity is 600 pounds
• There must be an adult (age 18 or older) in the boat if there are children age 12 and under
• Ages 8 and under must be accompanied in boat by parent or legal guardian
• Renters un-rack, launch, and re-rack kayaks by themselves
• All rental customers and passengers are REQUIRED TO WEAR THE PFD’s issued to them at all times while on or near the water
• Renters must return to the marina building to complete the checkout process. PFD’s and paddles must be returned to Lake Staff at this time
• No Swimming is allowed. If you fall in you must get out of the water immediately
• Rental boats and equipment must be returned in same condition as when they were rented
• Vessel renters and passengers may not make contact with the shoreline or bank or exit the vessel anywhere on or along Graham-Mebane Lake other than the designated launch/return area
• Vessel renters and passengers must comply with all ordinances, regulations, and rules governing the use of Graham-Mebane Lake
• Boat rental operation may be suspended and/or cancelled due to inclement weather; if in doubt call the Marina at (919) 563-6544 for possible closings
• Lake Staff reserves the right to deny rentals
Open-Air Shelter Rentals has been cancelled until further notice.
The lake features one large picnic shelter with an outdoor grill. Reservations are recommended for the use of the large picnic shelter for scheduled events. First come, first served if there is not a reservation. Shelter reservations are accepted from April 1 – September 30. No electricity. Includes two grills (1 full size: 1088 sq. in. & 1 family size: 293 sq. in.)
Shelter Size: 20′ x 35′ (6 tables)
Maximum capacity is 35 persons. Parking is limited, carpooling is recommended.
Times: 9:00am – 1:00pm OR 2:00pm – 6:00pm
Graham Resident $25 per reservation period
General Public $50 per reservation period
Please contact the Graham-Mebane Lake Office for more information about reservations at (919) 563-6544. There are also several other free-of-charge picnic areas with grills located throughout the marina area offered on a first come basis.
Ski Area Usage
Due to Water Quality, Bank/Shoreline Erosion, and Safety Concerns a six-boat, four-jet ski daily limit has been implemented for the Ski Area.
A reservation may be made beginning each Monday morning to use the designated ski area through that Sunday afternoon. Reservations are accepted on a first call basis. Only 6 boat and 4 jet-ski reservations are allowed each day. Same day reservations are accepted, however, we encourage ski area users to make their reservations early in the week. No other skiing, tubing, wake-boarding, jet skiing, etc. will be allowed.
If you need to make a reservation or are unable to use the reservation, please call the Marina at (919) 563-6544.
What are the lake’s hours?
City ordinance requires that activities on the lake be limited to daylight hours. As these hours vary with the seasons, so do the lake’s operating hours. See Hours of Operation, Fees, & Directions for current hours.
Do I need a fishing license?
Yes, anglers age 16 and older are required to have a valid NC fishing license. Licenses may be purchased online from the NC Wildlife Resources Commission or at area sporting goods stores.
What’s it cost to bank fish?
For residents of Alamance County and Mebane residents in Orange County, ages 13-64 the fee is $2; senior citizens (age 65+) $1; children 12 and younger are free. See our Hours of Operation, Fees, & Directions page for boat launching and Out-of-County rates. Please show proof of residency and age.
Can I swim in the lake?
No, the primary purpose of the lake is for municipal water supply so swimming is not allowed.
What fish species are in the lake and what are the size limits?
Largemouth bass, crappie, and catfish are the most sought after fish in the lake. Other species include bluegill, carp, and shad. An angler is allowed a limit of five (5) bass over 14 inches per day. There are no other size or number limits on fish.
Does the lake sell live bait?
Yes, the lake sells night crawlers, red worms, and crickets. We do not sell minnows. Hooks, weights, bobbers, and ice may also be purchased at the Marina.